Puthandu Vazthukal / Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Happy New Year!
I hope you all enjoyed your holidays.
Here in Colombo, the New Year’ Eve was celebrated with the launching of aerial fireworks which started at about 22:00. Then at 22.57, people all over the city started to set off firecrackers and fireworks continuously to welcome the start of the New Year.
Today’s report is about the festivities in Sri Lanka.
What you see in the photograph is Halapa, one of the traditional Sinhalese sweets. Each family shares the joy of the New Year with the neighbors by sharing home-made Halapa. (Sri Lanka is a Buddhist nation and the traditional New Year is celebrated in April.)
Halapa is also made for other celebrations, including birthdays.
It is quite simple to make Halapa. Just mix Kurakkan flour (flour of “finger millet”, a type of gramineous crop), grated coconuts, sugar, and salt. Spread the mixture between Kanda leaves, steam for 15 minutes, and it’s ready to eat!
But each family has its original recipe. Unfamiliar ingredients and salty flavor may taste very different to a Japanese person compared with what Japanese usually eat, but some Halapas are richly flavored with coconuts and may be quite appealing to Japanese, too.
I wish the year 2012 will be a wonderful year for everyone.
(The title is “Happy New Year” in Tamil (left) and Sinhalese (right))